banner
NC State

WRES: Gwiazdowski Wins 2014 National Championship

Posted March 22

N.C. State Logo

— Redshirt-sophomore Nick Gwiazdowski of the NC State wrestling team became the program’s sixth national champion Saturday night, as he captured a 4-2 win over top-seed Tony Nelson of Minnesota in the finals at 285 pounds at the 2014 NCAA Championships.

Gwiazdowski is NC State’s sixth individual to win a wrestling national title, and the third heavyweight following in the footsteps of Tab Thacker in 1984 and Sylvester Terkay in 1993.

After a scoreless first period, Gwiazdowski chose bottom to start second and was unable to escape Nelson’s hold as Nelson recorded 2:00 of ride time. To start the third, Gwiazdowski gave up the escape point but then scored the match’s first takedown to go up 2-1.

Nelson then took an injury timeout due to an injured left ankle, and when the competition resumed Gwiazdowski chose to start neutral. With 30 seconds left, Gwiazdowski got a hold of Nelson’s leg and kept his right foot inbounds, recorded the decisive takedown with 21 seconds left, and rode Nelson the rest of the bout. Nelson got a point for ride time, but Gwiazdowski took the final 4-2.

Gwiazdowski finished the season 42-2, establishing a new single season wins record at NC State. To finish the 2013-14 campaign, he won his last 20 matches and 11 of his final 15 wins were all against ranked opponents. The 2014 ACC Champion, Gwiazdowski went a perfect 20-0 in duals this year.

“We are obviously very excited for Nick and for our program,” said head coach Pat Popolizio. “There is a lot of coaching history with us and Nick, he is a sport and always has the right attitude both on and off the mat.

“Our team has made huge strides from last year. We set out to be a top-25 team and accomplished that this year. We have a great group of guys, and this national championships is a huge accomplishment for all of us. “

While the NCAA Championships are still ongoing, the Pack is guaranteed a top-25 finish, its first since 2009. NC State is one of only three ACC schools that will finish in the top-25 in 2014. In addition to Gwiadowski’s national championship at 285 pounds, the Pack had four others compete at the NCAA Championships.

Junior Tommy Gantt missed All-America honors by one spot, as he placed ninth at 157 pounds. Sophomore Sam Speno automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second straight year and went 2-2 including an upset of the fifth seed at 141 pounds. Redshirt-senior KaRonne Jones (197) and freshman Pete Renda (174) also competed this weekend.

Under second-year head coach Pat Popolizio NC State has been on the fast track to success. Before Popolizio took over the Wolfpack program, NC State finished 56th nationally in both 2010 and 2011 and 44th in 2012.

With seven new starters in his first season at NC State last year, Popolizio had three wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships and the Pack finished 63rd overall.

In addition to results on the mat, Popolizio and his staff compiled the 10th-best recruiting class in 2013 and the 17th-best nationally in 2014 according to WIN Magazine.

“Congratulations to Nick on a remarkable accomplishment,” said NC State Director of Athletics Debbie Yow. “Wolfpack Nation loves wrestling and appreciates the extraordinary progress made by Coach Pop, his staff and our athletes in two short years. This is only the beginning of what promises to become a top program, both in the ACC and nationally.”

Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Newest First
View all
TV
  • World Series: Kansas City vs. San Francisco

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on FOX50

Scoreboard
Local
Final
GBP 38
CAR 17
Final
CHI 101
CHA 96
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
CHA
 
Final
BRK 90
BOS 95
Final
OKC 94
MIN 112
Final
CHI 101
CHA 96
Final
HOU 90
GSW 83
Final
LAL 98
UTA 91
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
NOP
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
CHA
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
MIL
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
PHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MEM
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
 
Final
LOS 2
MIN 1
Final
NYR 4
SJS 0
Final
WIN 1
CAL 4
Final
ANA 3
STL 0
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
TAM
 
Final
BAL 29
ATL 7
Final
GBP 38
CAR 17
Final
IND 27
CIN 0
Final
JAC 24
CLE 6
Final
CHI 14
MIA 27
Final
BUF 17
MIN 16
Final
DET 24
NOS 23
Final
STL 28
SEA 26
Final
WAS 19
TEN 17
Final
SDC 20
KAN 23
Final
OAK 13
ARI 24
Final
DAL 31
NYG 21
Final
DEN 42
SFX 17
8:30pm Tonight
PIT
HOU